After a ‘lay off’ of two weeks the Performance Squad got back to winning ways with a convincing victory over Bath College Men’s 2. Conditions were tough, a ‘sticky’ pitch and a strong wind blowing down the pitch made it difficult for both sides to play an attractive passing game.
The squad started the game brightly although playing against the wind was challenging. They were determined to play their normal passing game, moving the ball into wide areas quickly where the pitch was in good condition and it was easier to play. Forward Jamie Moss was a constant threat to the Bath defence and no one was able to supress his strong running, strength and sheer will to score. It was Jamie who created the first goal, the ball was played into the area by Brandon Simsek, Jamie tried to turn his defender and he could only toe poke the ball into the path of Tyler Atyeo. Tyler dispatched the ball into the back of the net with such force that the keeper was rooted to the spot. BTC 2 continued to dominate, creating numerous chances. Paul Grant had a wonderful opportunity to increase the goal tally but skied the ball over the bar from five yards. Jamie also had a superb opportunity, a sublime through ball from Tom Lealand found Moss just inside the Bath half, he surged past the centre half, powered into the penalty area, dummied the keeper then missed an open goal, three yards out.
With ten minutes left of the first half, debutant Jayden Marsden was introduce to the game slotting into a central defensive role alongside Paul Grant. The sheer physical presence of this young man will surely be an asset to the squad in weeks to come. The first half ended at 1-0 to BTC 2.
With the wind behind them in the second half, BTC 2 were even more dominant, pinning the Bath team in their own half for long periods. When Bath did manage to mount an attack, keeper Calum Pugh was able to cope with everything and set attacking options for us with his kicking into the heart of the Bath defence and his quick delivery into our full backs giving them time and space to find a good pass. BTC 2 continued to squander scoring opportunities. Jamie could have scored a double hat-trick and although he did put the ball into the back of the net twice, both goals were ruled out due to infringements inside the penalty area.
Cameron Hutter, who is improving with every game, was withdrawn from his role as full back to enable BTC to play three at the back and push Elliot Keen wide left to create even more attacking options. Kyle Lazowski, Lealand and Atyeo were in complete control of the central midfield area creating chances for Matt Harper and Moss up front. Dan Brett slotted seamlessly into the midfield role when Lazowski was withdrawn. Brett is also developing into a competent footballer, comfortable on the ball and always seems to create space to play and deliver good passes.
BTC 2 did manage to increase their lead with some excellent work from Moss on the right hand side of the Bath Penalty area, he got to the bye-line and squared the ball back across the six yard box where Brandon Simsek was on hand for a simple tap in from 2 yards out.
Then with 20 minutes to play, Mario Franco received the ball wide right, ran on unchecked and smashed the ball into the far corner of the net from 20 metres out, a wonderful finish.
Although the team could have scored more goals, they created good opportunities and kept a clean sheet. Overall, a decent performance with room for improvement, well done to all involved.
Athlete of the week: Paul Grant
Man of the Match: Jamie Moss
Donkey: Jamie Moss.